Billboard Near Ralph Wilson Stadium Warns Football Fans About Tainted Chicken

The Physicians Committee
NEWS RELEASE November 29, 2012
Billboard Near Ralph Wilson Stadium Warns Football Fans About Tainted Chicken

More than 50 Percent of Buffalo Chicken Products Are Contaminated with Feces, Tests Show

WASHINGTON—A provocative billboard warns Buffalo Bills football fans traveling to the Jacksonville Jaguars game that at least half of the retail chicken products sold in Buffalo, N.Y., are contaminated with feces, according to independent tests.

The billboard, sponsored by the nonprofit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), reads “It’s a Crapshoot: Feces Taints 50% of Buffalo Chicken” and shows a dismayed tailgater holding a piece of chicken. The billboard can be seen by motorists traveling west on McKinley Parkway, at the intersection of Southwestern Boulevard.

“Tests show that many Buffalo wings–and other chicken products sold in the city–are contaminated by feces,” says registered dietitian Joseph Gonzales, R.D. “Every year during football season there is a spike in wing consumption. But fans might think twice about eating chicken after learning about the high rate of contamination.”

PCRM purchased chicken products—wings, breasts, thighs, and legs—from 10 retail stores in the Buffalo, N.Y., area, and sent them to an independent analytical testing laboratory in Chicago. The lab found 63 out of 100 packages of chicken tested positive for generic E. coli, evidence of fecal contamination. Even skinless chicken breasts, thought by some to be a more healthful choice, showed a high rate of contamination. The feces typically contaminate the birds in the slaughter process and are not removed prior to sale.

PCRM surveyed more than 300 Buffalo residents in August to determine if they were aware that feces could be found on chicken products. Sixty-two percent of Buffalo residents did not know that feces are commonly found in store-bought chicken products.

Brands tested include generic store brands, like Dash’s Market and Save-A-Lot, in addition to popular labels, such as Tyson and Perdue. The results of the independent lab tests were as follows:

Fecal Contamination of Chicken Products in 10 Buffalo-Area, N.Y. Stores
Store Location Chicken Products with Fecal Contamination
Dash’s Market Hertel Avenue, Buffalo 70%
Colvin Boulevard, Tonawanda 50%
PriceRite Walden Avenue, Cheektonaga 90%
Kenmore Avenue, Buffalo 70%
Save-A-Lot Broadway Street, Buffalo 60%
Genesee Street, Buffalo 40%
Target Delaware Avenue, Buffalo 80%
Walden Avenue, Cheektowaga 70%
TOPS Jefferson Avenue, Buffalo 70%
Seneca Street, Buffalo 30%

Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit health organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in research.

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